Building a product from scratch in the world’s most liveable city

Chris Duell, Elevio, Melbourne and the hiring process

Last month we were told about Elevio by a fellow creative. Which is a product designer to help users understand how your product works. The handy widget acts by driving engagement, increasing product knowledge and lowering your support load.

Chris Duell

To dive into the product and the story behind it, we spoke to Chris Duell, who is the co-founder and CEO of Elevio. He’s been involved in the tech community for a number of years and is currently based in Melbourne.

If you enjoy this interview, hit that heart button below ❤ Would mean a lot to us and it helps other people see the story.

Firstly, how would you concisely summarise what Elevio is for people that don’t know and why they should use it?

It’s fine for a product to be difficult to use, but it must be easy to learn, and there’s no reason your users shouldn’t understand your product as well as you do.

Elevio bridges that gap, by delivering your help content directly to your users in context, where and when it’s needed, while relaying back to you where your documentation and product can be improved. This lowers the learning curve for your product, engages users more, and lowers support loads.

An example of the Elevio widget in action

How did you get started with the project was their previous products that lead up to this? Did you dive right in or start creating the product on the side whilst you were doing something else?

We actually created this to scratch an itch. We previously ran a site where we had an issue in educating a user base that wasn’t tech-savvy. We tried a stand alone knowledge base but it just got ignored, people instead would take the path of least resistance which was to contact our support email address, or, just leave altogether.

We realised that if we couldn’t take the user to the content, then we’d take the content to the user, and so we created a quick MVP that showed an immediate, measurable improvement in conversions and a drop in support load.

Bit by bit we added more functionality and made it more contextually aware, and as they say, the rest is history.

How is being based in Melbourne which is such a vibrant part of the world, does this help the team develop such a great product?

It’s hard to say since I’ve only “lived” in San Francisco for a month, and Sydney for 3 months while working on elevio, and even then it was when we were a team of two.

There’s a lot to be said though about living in the most liveable city in the world 7 years running (take that Sydney) that would no doubt have an effect on peoples every day lives.

We try to make our workplace an enjoyable place to be, and have been fortunate with the people that we’ve got on board to share this ride with us are fun people to be around. If people are happy in their home life in a great city like Melbourne, and happy in their work life if we look after them, it shows through in the work they’re able to proudly produce.

What kind of stand out attributes do you look for in new hires, as we see you’re hiring at the moment?

Culture fit is super important. Will this person add to, or disrupt the teams dynamic?

We’re happy to hire people who aren’t technically as brilliant as the next person, provided they can show they’re willing to push themselves and learn, and completely buy into our vision.

You can’t unlearn being a dick.

Another thing we consider is if adding them to the team is greater than a net improvement of 1, meaning the team as a whole needs to be greater than the sum of its parts. We’d prefer to wait and find the right fit, than to hire too early based on a resume and find ourselves on a path we don’t want to be on.

Some of the team working on Elevio, images taken from the Elevio blog.

For you personally what is your goal of Elevio — to get it into more people’s lives / companies or to one day create new products that build on Elevio?

By providing a platform to easily create, contextually deliver, and continually improve support content, what we’re doing here is something that’s quite new.

Our goal isn’t a selfish one one of world domination, but instead we want the world to see that the current go-to’s (static off-site knowledge bases, untimely and forced walk throughs, distracting up-sell auto messages, etc) are fundamentally broken, and in fact research backs that users don’t like those approaches.

An Elevio work station

Instead, intelligently delivering just what the user needs when they need it, and bringing a product and its documentation together as one, is a much more efficient and welcomed approach to product education and increasing user engagement.

If we can guide the world towards this better approach and mindset, then we’ll have done our job. And if we just so happen to the best place to help achieve this, then so be it.

If you have a product in need of additional help definitely check out Elevio to see how their service can aid your work.

More coming soon.

Check out our last interview here and also another article you may like if you enjoyed this.

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